In the Matter of General Motors LLC, File Number 152-3101 #00084

Submission Number:
Robert Stempler
Consumer Law Office of Robert Stempler, APC
Initiative Name:
In the Matter of General Motors LLC, File Number 152-3101
I have been handling civil consumer cases against motor vehicle dealerships since 1997. In my experience interviewing consumers and hearing their testimony, buyers are lead to believe that when a dealer sells a motor vehicle with any sort of warranty or certification, that means the seller or some reputable third party has inspected the vehicle for safety and ensured that the safety equipment on the vehicle functions as designed. If a vehicle has outstanding safety recalls that were not performed by the manufacturer, then I don't believe that any manufacturer or licensed dealership should be allowed to offer any warranty or certification for a used vehicle, because my fear is that people are already overlooking important disclosures and yet another disclosure document adds to the buyer's confusion and inability to protect themselves from sellers who conduct lax inspections or are outright unscrupulous. I'd refer to this as "disclosure shock" as the large number of documents that California dealers provide to consumers is difficult to read and understand while signing at the dealership. The FTC should not expect consumers to bring an attorney or mechanic with them to look at used vehicles and the disclosures at a dealer. For obvious reasons, that is impractical and uneconomic. Moreover, what is the point of the FTC working so hard to regulate and recall unsafe child seats (for example), if the vehicles themselves are unsafe for all occupants. In this particular situation of a safety recall that was not performed, what if the safety recall affects the equipment in a vehicle to ensure that the child seat is secure? Then, child seats might not stay in place during an accident, which (my fear is) would result in severe injury or death. The FTC should not provide "safe harbor" language for unscrupulous dealers to use to deceive (potentially millions of) consumers. There are too many car dealers who would will use this language to take advantage of consumers, without any new enforcement mechanism to prevent that. This endangers used car buyers, their passengers (including children), and other members of the public who are at risk when unsafe vehicles are put on the road with outstanding safety recalls. Robert Stempler, Attorney at law California Bar #160299 Consumer Law Office of Robert Stempler, APC Oxnard, CA